Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

Change. The Chinese word for it, is comprised of two symbols, one for danger and the other for opportunity.

Pretty much sums it up, right?

New beginnings, new changes can be scary, it’s hard to know what to expect sometimes. Just maybe though, you gain confidence and courage by taking a moment to stop and look at those changes in a good, rather than a bad way. Sure, things could go wrong but what if they go right? You make a choice, deny what could be on your horizon, embrace it or resist it.

Some decisions are smaller than others, less difficult to fuck up. Choose a new store to buy your food from? What could really go wrong, you can always go back to your old place. Change your hairdresser? Admittedly, it’s more of an issue for the ladies out there rather than us boys, have you ever hear of a lady deciding to cut her own hair? Boys are idiots sometimes.

What if it’s something bigger? You want to change the person in the mirror you see every morning or the status of your interpersonal relationships. Do we all see our friends as much as we should? You know your relationship has gone stale, you know it needs to end but do you have the balls to say the words that you need to say? You get a new job offer, are you comfortable enough to take that leap of faith and try somewhere new, to work with new people? Deciding that you’re ready to take the next step in your relationship and pop the question? Moving house, calling somewhere new home? It’s a commonly held belief that changing your job, getting married or moving house are the three most stressful things that you’ll ever do in your life. Doing one is tough, but what if you decide to do two or three all at the same time? Time to make a choice.

Time for you to go out into the world.

The city and country where you’re born doesn’t always feel like home, does it? Being lonely is so hard at times, but being lonely in the place that you’ve known for most of your adult life? No bueno. Maybe it’s time for a change, who wants to be tired of being held back without being able to fight back harder? Male pride is totally a thing but sometimes it’s okay to reveal your vulnerability and your need to connect with something new. A change is maybe exactly what’s needed. Sometimes for good things to happen, we have to make changes and move on from old habits or experiences. Old doors closing and new ones opening. Doesn’t a new door mean a new beginning?

It’s super early on a Monday morning and my iPhone rings. The number is private but I know who it is. An hour long conversation is had about something that could change everything, not just for me but for the people closest to me. It’s a positive call from both sides, follow up calls are to be scheduled to hammer out the finer details about leaving my life as I know it. This means leaving the people here that I love behind, my family, my friends, everyone that I care about. Sure, I know people in different countries and I’ll be able to settle quickly but my mind is still running at a hundred miles an hour. Just change. In any facet of your life, if something comes along that will alter everything for you, there’s a decision to make. Yes or no, what to do?

New beginnings are a chance for a fresh start and for trying new things that you never thought impossible, that you never thought you could accomplish. Time to give yourself a pep talk, to get ready, to prepare yourself for something that means that your life will never be the same again. Closing old chapters of your life, forgetting about the past, but getting ready to write new chapters, to experience new things.

Are there sad feelings of leaving things behind? Damn fucking skippy. Is there the excitement of new adventures? Damn straight.

Can somewhere else in the world really be your home rather than the place of your birth, the city and country where you’ve spent most of your days? Maybe you’ve been there before, but you had to leave. It hurts when you read about it on the news because memories come flooding back. It’s featured on countless television shows and your heart gets heavy for a minute, or an hour, or a day. There’s no rules when you know that you want somewhere else to be your home, rather than where you stay right now. Yes, it’s a roof over your head but does it feel like you belong? For some of us, absolutely yes, 100%. That’s a great thing, but for others, it’s time to go. It’s an often used cliche, but your time on this planet is short so why not do what makes you happy, or at least what you think will make you happy? If you’re happy with everything in your life, then I’m super jealous. If you’re not, isn’t it time to make a change? Danger and opportunity.

Sometimes when you go somewhere new, to a new job, you can have big shoes to fill. Luckily, I’ve got big fucking feet.

Sometimes the only person that you need to focus on is yourself.

It’s okay to start a new adventure alone.

I know who I want to take me home.

@TheSamMcLeod

Three makes it a crowd.

When a girl breaks your heart, your friends are quick to tell you things along the lines of, “she wasn’t right for you anyway, there’s plenty more fish in the sea, the girl meant for you will come along, we saw the photos of you two together and she didn’t look like a ‘Sam’ girl.’ Fuck knows what that last part even means, but the rest are all cliches that we’ve probably heard at one point or another, but you know that they come from a good place, even if you don’t want to hear them in that moment. It takes time though to find that trust again, to let someone in, to want to even let someone in, to try and learn who to place your trust in.

Maybe it’s like a mirror, you can fix it if it’s broken, but maybe you can’t fix it with the person that smashed it. There’ll still be cracks, won’t there?

It’s tough to try and move on though, everyone is unique, it takes time. How long it takes differs for all of us, depending on our circumstances. Perhaps the more that you begin to care about someone new, the more sure you are that they’re going to get tired of you and disappear and leave you alone. Just your own insecurities about what went before, right? It’s 100% not fair on the new person that comes along but it can be tough to alter your mindset. What if one day everything changes though and someone new enters your life?

We all know immediately when we meet someone whether or not we’re punching above our weight. It’s a shallow concept, but it crosses our mind, dare to tell me I’m wrong. If more than one person likes the girl that you think you might like, shit, that you know you like, one of you is the underdog. Sometimes you know what’s in your future and what’s not. What’s likely and what’s unlikely.

Conversations happen, she smiles with her eyes when we speak, is there a chance for me, despite everyone else that’s fighting for her affection? It’s looking good, but is someone out of their league here? For sure. Things progress, the conversation is on point. We kiss, the night is spent together, it’s completely innocent, nothing wrong with cuddles and kisses when you’ve been starved of them both for so long.

I don’t know too much about her, other than she’s beautiful, she’s funny and she makes me smile. She’s not my usual type, yet incredibly, it looks like I’m not the underdog any more. Insecurity creeps in again though.

I bet, I bet we don’t make it.

The morning comes and she has to go home. She doesn’t stay in the same city, far less the same country, but an open invite is extended to visit her at any time. An email drops into my inbox on a Friday morning a couple of weeks later, ‘Come visit on Saturday if you can, a friend is having a party, it would be amazing to see you. Let me know when your flight lands if you decide to come, I’ll pick you up, it’ll be fun, assuming that you want to see me?’ The email insinuates a slight tease, she knows that I do. Tomorrow is short notice, but fuck it, why not?

A flight is booked, a couple of hours on a plane to take a chance on someone is no time at all. Better to arrive on the Friday though, get my bearings, although I lived and worked where she lives years ago, sometimes it’s just nice to have a little bit of time to yourself. The Saturday venue is familiar so I know where I’m going, but I use the Friday night to catch up in the same place with an old friend, drink some bourbon and reminisce. We both know the bar well, drinks are ordered and as is usually the case with my friends and I, a table is chosen in the back where you can see everything, always backs to the wall. No one wants to be taken out by a sniper!

The stories flow, memories are spoken about and laughter happens a lot. We’ve been friends forever, we grew up together so it’s a seamless catch up. I get up to go to the bathroom, come back and he points out a cute girl at the bar who he likes the look of. Guess who? I tell him who she is and he’s immediately apologetic. No biggie, she’s a stunner and he knows that she’s why I’m even here. Just as I stand back up to walk over to say hello, a guy walks in, hugs her and gives her the longest kiss that I’ve ever seen. Plot twist.

Neither of them can see us, thank fuck for small mercies. My friend and I look at each other and we both shrug, but inside I’m hurting a tiny bit. If something looks too good to be true, chances are that it probably is. I don’t go to the bar for a while, no way am I getting involved in whatever they have going on. Looks like my Saturday night will be free to do whatever I want to do, there’s no fucking chance I’m going to any party.

More bourbon is consumed, I get the piss taken out of me for trying to punch above my weight. I smile because he’s right, what was I thinking? Eventually they finally leave together with their arms wrapped around each other.

It’s my round. At the bar, I speak to the girl serving me and ask who the couple were who just left as I thought I recognised them. Seems they’ve been engaged for years and are set to get married in the autumn. It turns out I was a bigger underdog than I thought. It’s such a shame, a shame, we had to find out this way.

Fuck it, my flight is changed, my Saturday night will be spent with people I know who aren’t messing me around. Might as well get turbo though in the meantime with one of my oldest friends. Unbelievably, less than an hour later, my iPhone pings and it’s a text asking if I’m coming tomorrow?

Thing is, I know something you don’t.

I start to type a text a couple of dozen times and each one gets deleted. Finally I settle on, ‘I’m in the city already, I was in the same bar as you tonight. Good luck with everything for your wedding, we all deserve to be happy. All of us.’ The reply comes, ‘It was a mistake, I’m sorry.’ The thing is, it feels like the mistake is mine, for trusting you. Six words is all I get?

It’s one thing to make a mistake accidentally; it’s something completely different to make it on purpose. We all know what happens when you let yourself get close to someone, when you start to believe they like you, but you know that there’s a chance that you’ll be disappointed. Just choices, right?

We drain the bottle, handshakes and hugs follow and I head for bed, sleep and reflection is needed before heading back a day before I should be. The message I’m left with as my head hits the pillow is to be careful with who I let in, because I could have been the one that has messed everything up in the end for them, despite what she did. It’s not a nice feeling but how was I to know?

I’m down, down, but definitely not out.

@TheSamMcLeod

You’ve got it at your fingertips.

You’d do anything for the people in your life that you care about, wouldn’t you? No cry for help or question goes unanswered if a call comes, when you’re needed, you’re there. An email, a text, maybe a visit needs to happen. Shit, sometimes, your presence isn’t necessarily wanted or expected, but when you know something is wrong, you get there, you help in any way you can. Sometimes a cuddle is needed, sometimes harsh words need to be said, albeit in a caring way, sometimes just being around when that someone finally realised that when they need someone to pour their heart out to will help, even if they don’t realise it in that initial moment. We all have two ears and one mouth, sometimes it’s much better to listen than speak, especially if it’s someone who tugs at your heartstrings because they’re struggling and they need you, or they need someone.

We all need someone now and again, especially when you can’t tell that you’re bigger than the sea that you’re sinking in.

A visit becomes a little tougher when they’re over 8000km away, although an offer is made, yet politely gets declined. Calls happen though, texts are exchanged, thank goodness for FaceTime. That said, it’s never easy to watch a friend struggle, to see them cry, to be able to witness their fragility. It doesn’t take too long to catch on to the things that she’s trying to say without her being able to articulate the words. What advice can you give from so far away without everything that leaves your mouth sounding like a cliche? ‘It’ll all get better in time, there are plenty more fish in the sea, you were better than him anyway.’ How easy it is for those words to sound hollow? Finally something I say makes sense, ‘How about heading away for a few days somewhere, have a change of scenery and try and collect your thoughts?’ A couple of days pass and I don’t hear from her, but you give the people in your life what they need, even if that’s a little bit of space. You can try and help all you want to but sometimes, they need to get to a place on their own when they begin to think that they’ll be okay.

A call comes and she’s at the airport. Not her airport, my airport, can I go and get her? I can’t, but she knows where I live and she knows that my neighbour has a spare set of keys so she heads there. Work is finally done, I get back to my place and she’s already there, is already in pyjamas and has managed to demolish a large part of a bottle of bourbon. Usually this would be a great night together, music on, maybe a film and just hanging out. Given everything that’s happened though, letting her finish the bottle would be a bad idea. We sit, we talk, she cries, we hug and awful television is watched.

She falls asleep so I take the chance to make up the spare room, who doesn’t like fresh bedding, although by this point, I doubt she’d even notice. I pick her up, lay her gently into bed and pull the covers over her. I head for the kitchen, grab a couple of bottles of water from the fridge and stick one on each side of her on the bedside tables. The lights get turned out in her room and I watch the rest of the shitty TV show and make sure that there will be no bourbon left by morning.

It’s been a long day emotionally so it’s time for bed. I climb in and as soon as my head hits the pillow, sleep isn’t far behind me. I’ve no idea how long it is, but I feel something, turn over and there she is next to me with her hands on me, trying to kiss me. A few years ago, absolutely. Right now? Zero chance. We have a difficult conversation, mostly because she’s still drunk but I lead her back to the spare room and put her to bed. Again.

Her actions are understandable, maybe we’ve all been there. Perhaps nothing numbs the sting of a breakup quite like a rebound fling or relationship. Toxic for some people, but maybe beneficial for others. Maybe sometimes it could grow into something amazing, but this isn’t one of those times. Don’t you both need to be on the same page about whatever the fuck this is? No point in dragging someone else into your emotional horror show while letting them believe that there’s a chance that your new relationship could be something real. Sure, it’s easy to assume that once they’ve finally healed from their breakup, that they’ll look to you as the knight in shining armour who swept into their life at just the right time to make it all better, but how is that a basis for something new?

It’s more than okay to hurt, but maybe if you’re in pain, you should try and heal, rather than move onto someone else straight away. A rebound will never the best idea you’ve ever had, everything should happen with dignity and especially when you’re sober. Take time to heal before committing to someone new, right?

No one wants to be the first person to be picked out of a lineup of a potential new partner.

It’s not going to be fun if I start to get feelings for her in a different way, there’s no way that it’ll happen though, to make her hope that things will be anything different, anything more than just a friendship. Once upon a time, maybe, but she chose someone else and that’s okay, but no one should want to be a rebound, I certainly don’t. Hopefully the morning comes, she remembers and apologises, or forgets completely. It’s okay to be alone and wait for the right girl but what’s the point in ever allowing your own loneliness to drive you into the arms of someone that you know that you don’t belong with?

It’s not difficult to get over the possibility of a relationship that I wasn’t even in, but it doesn’t mean that my heart doesn’t hurt for her.

The morning comes, I’m awake first and breakfast is made, complete with a shit ton of coffee. She wakes, comes through, looks at me, hugs, says sorry and that’s enough. Saying sorry is always enough. She’ll be okay in time, cliche again, but she’ll always have a friend who has her back.

She stays for a few more days and we do things that friends do. It’s okay to put your arm around someone when they’re hurting, long walks are cathartic. She’s still hurting but K, I know that you’ll be okay.

I know you think your fire is burning out but I still see you shining through, you’ve got it in you.

@TheSamMcLeod

Raise your glass in slow motion.

Everyone is guilty. Guilty of giving too much, of taking too much. Of not saying the words that we should have said, of articulating more words than was needed in any given situation. Not all of us keep in touch with family and friends, fuck, all of the people in our lives as much as we should. Sure, some of those people in your life will begin to fade away, it’s just life. Maybe you move away, they move away, you gradually lose touch, it’s not necessarily a conscious decision but it hurts on some sort of base level at least. On the flipside, there are people that you choose to keep around, regardless of where they are in the world, but now and again there comes a time when you have to make a choice about who those people are. Is this person making my life better or even just enriching it? It can be as simple as just liking the cut of their jib, they’re your friend. Sometimes though you have to know when to let go. Now and again time closes the door on any relationship that you have, not necessarily because you failed but just because something inside you finally has the balls to tell you that this particular someone or something no longer fits in your life.

What now? Lock your door, keep yourself to yourself for a while, and then start looking for new doors that you want or are ready to open? Is it a sign that you’re changing and you know that it’s going to be okay? Fingers crossed.

Letting go is incredibly tough though. It matters if we worry about the future without the ones that we no longer want to have in our lives, or if we keep thinking that we’ve made a mistake if we choose to let them go. You trust your heart and your mind though, right? Is it painful at times? Damn straight it is, it can be super hurtful when you know that you have to move on without certain people. No matter how hard we try to keep things as they are, sooner or later we’ll confronted with a decision to make, whether we like it or not. Our attempts to hold on to all of the negative people and things that were familiar to us, inhibit our chances to try experience happiness and joy in that particular moment and indeed in those future moments. Maybe it’s more than one moment and perhaps our lives are always supposed to be about change. No matter how hard we try to keep things as they are, sooner or later we’ll be confronted with a decision to make whether we like it or not.

It can be a good thing sometimes because now we can open up ourselves to to new experiences, new people, new possibilities. It sucks though when that time comes. It’s so clear, I should’ve seen it.

It blows my mind and I don’t understand it.

A change in life presents itself, different things are suddenly are on the horizon and decisions need to be made. Difficult ones, the worst kind. When you’re continually in touch with people and it’s a one way road, it’s time to say goodbye, isn’t it? Focus on yourself for once. Scratch that, focus on the most important person in my life, not me, a young girl who will benefit from this life altering decision. This is for you. Em, it will always be you.

Con te partirò is a beautiful song. It literally means ‘With you I will leave.’ This time though, it’s a solo journey, although there are people that will be left behind that I care about. That said, it’s important to forget what and who hurt me but I’ll never forget what it taught me. Some people need to be left behind because things and people weren’t who I thought they were. It might be the same from their perspective and that’s okay, we all believe what we want to. Maybe sometimes people come into your life just to teach you how to let go. We won’t be in touch again. In person, over Facebook or Twitter, Instagram, whichever social platform you wish to choose. No one wants to be shitty, but if you don’t want to keep in touch, then that’s okay, but don’t expect the same the other way around when a new life is starting. 10,394 miles or 16,727 in kilometers depending where you are in the world, it’s not my loss. Perhaps the worst thing is that this choice won’t even be on their respective radar but that’s okay. Easier to say goodbye than have someone bid you farewell, I guess.

Letting go isn’t a one time thing, it’s something you have to do over and over again. That’s a sad thing. Time to take a second look.

See your eyes, they’re wide open.

@TheSamMcLeod

How could this be done by such a smiling sweetheart?

When we were younger, we were kind of fearless, we had just enough naivety to think, ‘Why can’t I do anything that I want to do?’ Become an astronaut? No problemo, there’s no way the training can be that difficult. A doctor? Absolutely, consider it done. Become an international superstar playing the sport that you love and get paid for it? It’s definitely happening, start working on that signature for autographs. A fireman? Saving people, plus girls like a guy in uniform apparently, win win. Falling in love at first sight with someone? It can’t just be true in fairytales, right? Meet and marry the most perfect person for you in the entire world? Obviously, there’s no way it isn’t in your future, it’s in the bag. Just the innocence of youth, naive enough to not yet know what you could never hope to accomplish.

It’s not the worst trait to have, perhaps being naive preserves your view of the world that maybe some others don’t have, we’re all different about what we think of people and things. Does it make us more vulnerable? It’s tough to say but you always want to think the best about everyone you meet, about everyone in your life. Maybe it is being a little naive, but it isn’t it cool to think that there aren’t really very many truly bad people in the world? The problem is, you grow up and you learn that you’re going to get hurt by someone, sometimes by the person that you least expected to ever cause you pain.

It can happen in every relationship, whether you’re friends or something more, but if someone or something isn’t making you happy, you question it, don’t you? Isn’t it right that it takes more courage to do things outside of your comfort zone when you know you’re miserable but you need to know why?

I know that she knows that I’m not fond of asking.

I know that something is up but asking questions becomes more difficult when people are evasive. She’s a loose cannon but generally one that fires in the right direction, so a little slack is cut. Questions are avoided though, no answers are given as to what’s going on. There’s a problem somewhere but let’s face it, boys aren’t the cleverest when it comes to matters of the heart.

As a boy, you can fool yourself into thinking that you understand women, but the truth is that you don’t. Do you try to keep them guessing though to make up for your lack of understanding? Sure, why not try and give off a devil may care attitude and make the ladies think that you’re some kind of badboy that they can tame. Sometimes it works, but there’s always the occasional disaster.

Something is wrong, something has changed. One of the most predictable things in all of our lives is that there will be change. It would be nice if you can have a say in whatever those changes will be, but you’re kidding yourself if you think that they’re not on your horizon, despite whether you want them to be or not.

A lot of the time, there’s always one person in a couple who’s more invested in their relationship. It’s easy for everyone around you to notice and tell you to walk away but it’s not always that easy, right? Isn’t it the best when you’re really close friends with someone but also in love with them at the same time? It hurts like fuck though when someone keeps abusing that and using you to comfort their own insecurities.

She’s becoming a complete mess but we continue on, you don’t just fall out of love with someone, but it’s getting harder. We all make choices, we do what we want, relationship or not. The penny drops one day, she has a massive issue. Excessive drinking, partying and random hookups are okay for single people, but not for a couple. I guess I always knew deep down but I can’t stop lying to other people about it any more, far less myself. A dignified silence is for the best, given everything that we’ve shared, I’m not about to throw her under the bus to our friends. If it makes me look like the bad guy, then I’m okay with that, her health and wellbeing is more important. It’s becoming clear to see that we’re ending soon, but it’s not the kind of thing to talk to someone else about, who wants to admit that their relationship is falling faster than a barrel over Niagara? I want to continue loving her despite the fact that she doesn’t seem to want me in the same way that I want her. Who the fuck wants to stick around just to give someone attention and comfort when they need it though? No point in having a relationship when nothing is on your terms. What happened to compromise and understanding?

The night comes and the sunset that evening is heartbreakingly beautiful. The conversation will be tough but it needs to happen, and the look on her face says everything. Words are said because I need to find a way to stop liking, far less loving her. Sometimes a relationship ending conversation doesn’t determine who’s right, only who’s left.

I’m not saying it was your fault, although you could have done more. Will there maybe something there regardless of what she did? Tonight, tomorrow, always.

All you want from someone that you let into your life? Just don’t let me down.

@TheSamMcLeod

All the feelings and the day they stopped.

Innocence is defined as freedom from blame, freedom from guilt, harmlessness, innocuousness, inoffensiveness, irreproachability, lack of malice, purity. Aren’t they some of the qualities that we all have in one way or another?

There’s always a lot of guesswork involved in who and what you let into your life. We all take chances every day, some come off, some don’t, that’s just the way it is. It hurts when you get it wrong though, you’ve trusted your innocence in believing what you think you know or what someone tells you, it’s just part of trying to be as good a person as you can be.

It’s never good though if a day comes when you stop believing in your personal fairytales, and you realise that there’s no point in holding onto hopes that won’t take you anywhere. You understand that you’re not the only person out there who has things to deal with every day, things to think about, decisions to make. There are plenty of people in the world who have gone through and are going through things that you’ll never understand. No one’s fault, just innocence rearing it’s head again, right? Some people you meet will bring you down and make you feel bad but, there’s no point in holding it against them, aren’t we’re all inexperienced at life in general, no matter what we might think?

It sucks when that innocence makes you spectacularly wrong though about someone or something and your feelings get hurt.

One day, you’ll stand up on your own.

Sometimes what you think you’re looking for comes when you’re not looking at all, and sometimes you don’t know shit about shit.

We know each other but nothing has ever happened, we’re just friends. Hugs, but no kisses, nothing else at all, other than random texts and emails. She’s super cute, If she could turn my head, I’m not the only boy who’d end up with whiplash, but that’s not enough, don’t we all need someone to stretch us on an intellectual level too? She’s nothing more than a one time passing thought, but she’s a friend, so there are feelings there but they’re innocent.

A message arrives on WhatsApp with an invite to her birthday party. There’s a bunch of other people copied in that’ll be amazing to catch up with, it’s a yes. The night comes, presents are given, drinks are poured and the music is on. Everyone gets to pick a song from iTunes and we’re all on rotation, the music will be eclectic, no one knows what’s coming next, it’s never a bad thing to discover new bands and songs. Let’s see what the opinion is in the room about some Canadian rock.

The birthday girl comes over after a while, glasses are clinked and we speak for a while. A lot of the chat is about music, about who the band is that are currently playing, what sort of musicians each of us are into. Let’s be honest, everyone likes talking about themselves and what they like so it’s not a difficult conversation to have. She heads off to mingle and it’s good to get some boy chat instead, football, girls, the usual nonsense that boys talk about.

As with every party ever, people begin to drift off as the night stretches on. She comes back over and she’s clearly drunk, it’s her birthday so that’s her prerogative. We talk again and a kiss is attempted, easily the worst idea she’s had tonight. Turns out that saying no to a girl is easier than you think as a boy, especially is there’s another girl out there that you’re thinking about instead. We’re at a junction, turn left or turn right? Turning wrong isn’t an option, but there’s no decision to make. Maybe a wise man never counts all the way to three, but there’s no point trying to second guess it, no hesitation, definitely no overthinking. It seems that I never read her right and it’s like I’ve knocked over the first domino of the end of our friendship by saying no. Reverse isn’t a gear I’m familiar with but something doesn’t feel right. You always need to get over someone first before you can get under someone else, it’s not fair otherwise.

She’s going through me like shit through a goose, tonight needs to be about putting out a fire before heading home, but she’s not accepting any of it. Can’t anyone of us speaking to someone for an hour just be someone being nice, especially if the conversation is strictly innocent? Boys and girls can be just friends, but telling her to be strong enough to let go about tonight and be wise enough to wait for someone she deserves is not a good idea. Taxi for one.

Life is messy sometimes and some people, this boy included are deluding themselves if they think they can just wave a wand and everyone will suddenly play nice. It turns out that there are some things that you can’t fix.

Endless messages, calls and emails follow but when you know something isn’t a good idea, perhaps it’s better to ignore them and try and forget. It’s never good when a friendship ends, but there comes a point when you realise that all of us have different degrees of understanding about what innocence is.

I remember losing hope, I remember feeling low.

One day you’ll have to let it go.

@TheSamMcLeod

Don’t kid yourself.

Nobody should ever be ashamed to admit that they’ve been in the wrong. If you’ve made or you’re making mistakes, then aren’t you trying new things, trying to push yourself, trying to make your world a tiny bit better? Every choice we make, we make ourselves although perhaps in that one moment we think that they’re necessary in order to learn what we need to; that whatever steps we take, are important enough to get us to the places we need to go? It’s okay to err, we’re all human, but maybe an error doesn’t become a mistake until we correct it. Don’t mistakes show us what needs to be improved though, otherwise how would we know what we had to work on? What if you had no realisation that you were making a mistake in the first place?

Clearly, some mistakes are smaller than others. Forgetting to pick up bread or milk, not putting the bins out on the right day, minor things, they’re not going to trouble you too much. If they only affect you, that’s easier to take because no one else gets hurt. Fucking things up with a friend or lover? Different story.

In any relationship, the devil is right there in the details. There can be problems in every relationship, some you know of and some you don’t. When something comes to an end, you know immediately who’s to blame.

It’s you right there, right there in the mirror.

It’s just another day, a lot of us are out for brunch, I know some, I don’t know others. It’s always nice to meet new people, to expand my social circle, you know that you’ll never like everyone you come across, but don’t you need to leave yourself open to the possibility that you might? The boys get handshakes and hugs, the girls get a peck on the cheek and hugs. One girl who is introduced to me, seems particularly cool, even my girlfriend likes her. Conversation between everyone else flows easily though, it’s a nice few hours spent with old and new friends. Numbers and Twitter handles are swapped, people are added on Facebook. Exchanges follow between all of us, plans are made for catching up. It’s okay to like new people, even if it’s someone of the opposite sex, whether or not you’re in a relationship. You can be into someone or simply be friendly, although maybe for some people it can be hard to tell the difference. Normally someone that likes someone else will try to find out more about that person and show some sort of interest in you, to compliment you, or just generally be kind. Does that really mean that they like you though in a romantic way? Not necessarily.

Like anything in life, different combinations of people click more than others. I strike up a friendship with the girl who I recently met, but that’s all it is. My girlfriend knows that we message, that we chat occasionally, that we meet up for coffee now and again, but it’s not a full on thing. She does the same with her, as well as some of the boys. No need to be jealous if you’re in a relationship with someone that you love and trust. Friendships with people of the opposite sex are healthy, aren’t they? Catching up is always the same with my girl friends. The space is important, you’re my girl friends, not my girlfriend. A hug, a cheek kiss, and a smile.

Birthdays happen, Christmas comes around, so you give gifts to the people in your life, how can it be wrong to be thoughtful? I’m out one day and it’s neither of those days, but I know that the girl wants a particular album so I pick it up for her, it can never be wrong to make a simple gesture to the people in your life. Sometimes you see something that you know a friend would like, so you pick it up for them. It doesn’t always need to be about special occasions, it’s nice to do something nice, who doesn’t like a random gift?

It’s okay for a text or instant message to end with the 24th letter of the alphabet, it just means that you’re getting a virtual cheek kiss, right? It seems that not everyone thinks so.

A message pops up and she’s had a promotion. A case of wine is sent just to congratulate her, awesome work on her part. It’s signed for by her boyfriend or partner, not someone that I knew even existed. No problem to me though, I’m not romantically interested, I’m just pleased for my friend. If only it was that easy. He spots the return address, looks into her iPhone and sees our messages. Every single one is completely innocent, no innuendo, nothing sexual, but he flips at the kiss at the end of our messages. They didn’t go one way, I got them too, but I didn’t read anything into them. My girlfriend got the same in her messages, just a little thing, it’s only a letter. Not to everyone it seems. Obviously not everyone recognises that niceness and politeness isn’t always flirting.

It kicks off between them and they split up because of me. Have I done something wrong? It’s difficult not to blame myself when a friend is hurting. My mind constantly goes back to what I could have done differently to make our friendship work. No gifts? No nice messages? Maybe the best thing to do is keep my mind busy with other thoughts, to move on, to forget about what she never told me? It shouldn’t have even mattered, we were just friends. We’ve all been in awkward situations that don’t always work out the way that we want them to. Perhaps sometimes you need to reconcile yourself to the fact that what happened, happened.

A friendship is gone, it’s time to say goodbye, there’s no use in two people remembering the same thing. Have I fucked up, or have I just not yet found a way to make things work? You can only do what you can with the information available, but should it change the way you approach a friendship? Maybe it’s naivety, someone’s perception is their reality. Her heart is hurting, so ergo, my heart is hurting.

Thing is, maybe focusing too much on something is going to fuck you up. Sometimes the best way to get through hurt is to remain positive. There can be conflicted emotions, but sometimes you need to let things go. I need to let things go, no point in clutching at straws. Sometimes you can only know what people are willing to tell you. Be okay with what you see in the mirror.

Don’t punish yourself, you’re looking too closely.

@TheSamMcLeod